Isaiah 9:6--For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
If you know me at all, you know I'm Christmas-crazy, and it's probably not a surprise that I'm posting about Christmas in April. Above is a very popular verse we use a lot around Christmastime, but that's not the only time we can use it. Christmas can be celebrated year-round, not just on December 25th. Jesus is an eternal gift, and He is worthy to be celebrated, praised, and worshiped every day of the year.
Now, on to the literary part of this post. It's easy to see that part of Isaiah 9:6 is in the format of a list that states some of the magnificent names of Jesus Christ, which relates to last week's post. So what would be the point of a list? Lists seem very mundane, very everyday. We use them all the time: grocery lists, to-do lists, Christmas lists, lists of different types of lists....
Well, here, the purpose is to build excitement about the coming Messiah, the Savior of the world! As these titles are listed, they build upon each other, culminating at the last to a grand display of Jesus' majesty.
It's easier to see, or hear, if you read it out loud. As you state each name, the excitement grows, the anticipation builds, until at last you're praising God for all the wonderful things He is! There are no conjunctions between the titles either, so the pace only grows faster as you read, serving to escalate the excitement even more. Also, since there is no conjunction before the last item in the list, it ends the verse on a high note and gives it an unfinished sense, as if it could go on and on. And it could. The Great King has hundreds of blessed names and titles He can be called.
This was the world's Christmas list 2000 years ago. It may not have known that's what it wanted, but that's what it needed: a Savior. Christmas was the day Jesus began His ministry on earth, to seek and save the lost. It was an immense show of His love that He would leave Heaven--perfection, paradise, the presence of the Father--and be born into this corrupt world that is cursed by sin--the very thing God hates--as a baby boy, confined to the physical restraints of a human, and humbled so that he had to be fed, washed, and cared for by someone He had created. What love the simple birth of a child reveals. That is why Christmas, the birth of Christ, should be celebrated every day. That is why our Christmas lists should read "Jesus, Jesus, and more Jesus." He is our all in all. He is all we need and what we should want the most of. And if you don't know this wonderful Savior, if you haven't received the greatest gift of all, it's so simple. See the Salvation tab at the top of the website for directions on how to be saved.
So, I know it's only April, but merry Christmas!